“They called it a good news day, a day they allowed themselves to boast the “remarkable!” showing of our nation’s economy during the 2nd quarter of the year.” — Jove Francisco reports for ABC 5
The figures are remarkable indeed: GDP growth for the second quarter 2007 at 7.5 % and GNP at 8.3 %, bringing the country’s economic growth to 7.3 percent for first semester of the year. This is the fastest growth rate that country has achieved in 20 years, the President said, proudly adding that “ours is the only administration that has not experienced any negative growth in any quarter and it has been a six year administration!”
Here comes now the inevitable question: one reporter asked for the President’s comments to some observers’ reactions that the figures are “incredible” and “totoo ba ‘yan?”
The President’s reply: “Are you saying that the NSCB (National Statistical Coordination Board) people are liars?”
Umm, maybe not the NSCB people, but isn’t there a book about lying and statistics? That was such a precious quip from the President of the republic.
Head over to Jove’s blog for the behind the scenes and the video clip.
And another thing: when discussing growth figures, stock market rallies, and other economic gains, the question is always that are the gains “trickling down” to the poor or to the masses? The phrasing in itself is sad, really. It just underscores the top to bottom approach to development, and that it’s always those on top who gets the windfall just as always, and the masses will just have to hope that something “trickles down” to them. Thus the preoccupation towards getting foreign investments for large-scale projects at all costs.
On the other hand, I came across something by economist Sixto K. Roxas, on what he termed “community-centered capitalism.”
“We chose this term because competitive markets and private ownership of capital are foundations of our model but with a substantial difference. Unlike more conventional market-oriented models, households and communities are the central players in our system. Their net incomes and net worth, rather than enterprise profits and capital, are the key indicators of economic performance. The underlying principle is that economic development should increase the returns to households from the sustainable use of the ecological resources of their bio-region.”
“In a community-centered economics we think of a human community or settlement and its inter-related ecosystem as a holistic unit of organization for the production and consumption of goods to meet the community’s current needs, and for the preservation and enhancement of the settlement’s present and future productive capacity. Economic development occurs when the community’s capacity for increased future economic output, including the sustainable output of its natural resources and ecological capital, is increased.”
I won’t pretend to understand all this in-depth, but really, that sounds so much better than the usual discussions and projections on GDP and GNP growth.